It's official: we've decided on the new cover for The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing (2nd Edition).

The book cover "reveal" is below, but before we get to that -- some context:

Last year, I decided I wanted to do two things:

Thing #1. I wanted to update and re-release The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing

The first edition of the book was published back in 2014.

My original intent was to share what I had learned from using Pay What You Want Pricing to sell books, coaching, art, and more.

It was an experiment, like most of the things I do. flopped (sort of...).

I won't go into a ton of detail here because you can read the complete Pay What You Want launch report here.

But for those pressed for time, here's a quick summary:


  1. It was the first book I published after leaving the Army 🪖
  2. About 100 people bought the book 👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏿
  3. It generated about $1,000 in contributions 💵


Now for the bad:

  1. It took me close to a year to write 😶‍🌫️
  2. I had help getting the book edited and formatted, which negated essentially any profit from the book 🤢
  3. Only about 100 people bought the book 🤏🏿


Luckily, I did the most important thing:

I validated the idea.

So I spent the next year writing about and sharing the book as widely as possible.

And now that we're going on close to a decade since the original publication of the book -- and because I never published on Amazon, nor published a paperback of the book...

I decided it was time for a 2nd edition.

Thing #2. I wanted to test out the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) space.

NFTs were the hot new thing in 2021.

In many ways, they looked and seemed insane to me:

Why, why, WHY would anyone pay $7 million for a jpeg?

The whole thing just looked like a money-laundering Ponzi scheme from the outside. I just didn't get it.

YET...The underlying concept and tech are pretty neat.

And once you get past the initial NFT jpeg cash-grab, one starts to realize that maybe there's something to this idea of digitized ownership.

Here's how NFTs are defined by

NFTs are tokens that we can use to represent ownership of unique items. They let us tokenise things like art, collectibles, even real estate. They can only have one official owner at a time and they're secured by the Ethereum blockchain – no one can modify the record of ownership or copy/paste a new NFT into existence.

Here are a few of the key concepts that I think make NFTs interesting for creators:

  1. Verifiable ownership of unique items (“This is my *token*. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Hoorah!")
  2. The potential for creators to earn resale royalties on digital products (content creators should be paying attention to this...)
  3. The potential for NFT holders to resell their token and earn a profit (this is probably the most exciting feature...but more on this later)
  4. The ability (and incentive) for the NFT creator to continue to provide VALUE to the NFT holder (which becomes a "win-win-win" strategy b/c of the reasons listed above)

That last reason -- The ability (and incentive) for the NFT creator to continue to provide VALUE to the NFT holder -- is what prompted me to combine Thing #1 and Thing #2 above.

So, I'm releasing "The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing (2nd Edition)" as an NFT.

Want to follow along?

Sign up (FREE) to get first access to the book, NFT exclusive bonuses, and more.

Plus, I'm documenting my NFT journey and will share what I learn for people who register above.

So if you are:

  1. Interested in using NFTs for your books, courses, art, or digital products...
  2. Want first dibs on The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing (2nd Edition)
  3. Would like to support my work for the many years I've been teaching for free from this blog, my podcast, etc.
  4. Or just because you are awesome...

Join me for the launch of my first NFT here.

And now for the book cover reveal...

A few months ago, I shared 8 potential book covers for the 2nd edition of TCGTPWYWP.

You can see all the covers here.

In the end, here's how things panned out:

Least Favorite Book Cover

This cover received the LEAST amount of votes:

This book ended up with exactly 0 first-place votes. I guess not completely surprising.

Although I liked the aesthetic, I think the magnet confused people.

Next up...

Most Voted Book Cover

This book cover received the most "cumulative" votes:

This was the original cover idea I had for the book. And while the cover is very rough around the edges, it seems like the minimalist aesthetic attracted a lot of readers.

This book ended up getting the most number of votes in total.


In the end, I felt like the 'tip jar' idea, while catchy in a minimalist sense, didn't fully articulate the value proposition behind Pay What You Want pricing.

I mean, can you imagine an attorney, software startup, or [pick name of profession/business/enterprise here] self-identifying with a 'tip jar' for their pricing model?

In other words, as much as I loved the aesthetic of this cover, it felt like it missed the mark from a "market" perspective.

I don't want people to think that Pay What You Want pricing is a tip jar.

It can be -- but it doesn't have to be.

I want people (entrepreneurs, creatives, business owners, etc.) to see that Pay What You Want pricing can be a sustainable, socially beneficial, and even lucrative pricing technique.

So in the end, this cover was edged out by our winner:

Book Cover Winner

This book cover received the most #1 votes by percentage:

While this cover doesn't have that 'Malcolm Gladwell minimalist item design' like the one above, I still think it has a nice, professional aesthetic.

It's clean. Simple. Professional. And it feels...precise.

Most importantly, I feel like it will appeal to the broadest market of entrepreneurs, writers, artists, creatives, and business owners.

Here's an updated cover mockup + teaser of the book (don't you love the floating Tom body in the top left corner!?!?):

So there it is.

What do you think?

Anything we should change or adjust for the final version?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Oh, and don't forget:

Click here to follow along for the NFT launch of The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing (2nd Edition).

Justin Brooks is the founder of, the world's largest online school for digital advertising. His company teaches advertisers how to install proven campaign frameworks and training the next generation of media buyers and connecting them with great clients or jobs.

Today, we’re gonna dive into his experiments and forays into “pay what you want” pricing, what he loves about it, what has worked well, and also what hasn’t.

In this broadcast, Justin and I talk about:

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After 6+ months of testing, tracking and recording...

3 months of intensive research, study, and compiling...

And 1 month of all-consuming writing, editing, scrapping...and writing some more...

I've finished my new book:

The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing

The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing: How You Can Share Your Work and Still Make a Profit

Author Tom Morkes delivers. Some readers might think anyone advocating sharing and generosity advocate wearing "KICK ME" signs on our backs as people steal our creations. Not Tom. Instead of some BS-ing cheerleader long on promises and short on specifics, this guy creates a detailed game plan anyone could win with.

- Tom Owens, author | 101 PO'ed Poems: Frustrations in Free Verse

If you've been following me for a while, you already know what this book is about.

For new readers, here are some links to get you up to speed on the topic of Pay What You Want, and why it's important:

1. Pay What You Want: The Ultimate Sales Strategy (external link)

This was a post I did for  It's kind of gone viral. People are tweeting Justin Bieber about it.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

2. Pay What You Want Pricing with Tom Morkes on the Content Warfare Podcast (external link)

I sit down with marketing expert Ryan Hanley to discuss why Pay What You Want is one of the most powerful marketing techniques available.

3. 3 Ways Pay What You Want Leads to More Profit than Fixed Pricing

I show you 3 case studies of people crushing it using PWYW pricing.

4. Get Unstuck and Start Making Money Now (external link)

I sit down with marketer Tema Frank to discuss my origins in the online world and how I got started using Pay What You Want pricing.

5. Why I Give it All Away

This is my reason WHY for what I do / create / write.

6. How Letting People Choose Their Price Can Make You a Millionaire

A case study of my first Pay What You Want product: 2 Days With Seth Godin.


The free resources above should get you started.

If you're at all interested in the subject and would prefer a more in-depth, yet practical look at the pricing technique (and how to apply it to your own business, writing or art), definitely check out the book.

I put my blood, sweat and tears into this one - I promise you that.

If this book isn't your style, but you'd like to support my creative work, any and all contributions are welcome.

So is sharing (I even made it easy):

If you're an entrepreneur, check out @tmorkes new guide The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing: [click to tweet]

Check out this killer new book by @tmorkes: The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing: [click to tweet]

Want to sell your art? Try giving it away to make a profit instead The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing [tweet]

The best sales and marketing book since Cialdini's Influence. Get it: @tmorkes [click to tweet]

Okay, that last one is a little self-aggrandizing...but if you do tweet it, you are awesome and will have a place in my heart forever.


So if you're this far down on the page and still haven't bought a copy, seriously grab one:

The Complete Guide to Pay What You Want Pricing

buy now

Thanks so much for reading, and thanks so much for your support - it really does mean the world to me.


Started, finished and shipped on 25 November 2013 in Dunedin, New Zealand.  

Total writing time: 1.5 hours

Total time spent waiting for the massive upload that is 'The Complete Package' to finish: 5 hours (I'm not kidding)

Pay What You WantI got a thought provoking email the other day from Resistance member Tom Owens.

With his permission, I wanted to share part of it with you:

You've done bang-up work on your two blog posts explaining PWYW and how it's helped you.

However...I think more than one person might pause. "If he's still doing so well with this business model, why is he letting others know? Why not a trade secret?"

...In other words, why are you sharing this?

I clicked the reply button in Gmail and thought about the question before responding.

Why not?  Why WOULND’T I share this info?...  I thought to myself.

To me, it went without saying why I was doing it.  It seemed like something that spoke for itself.

But then I thought about that response (‘why not’) and realized it was a cop-out – it didn’t actually explain why I was doing what I was doing.

By responding with ‘why not,’ I wasn’t really answering his question.  Instead, I was purposefully avoiding it.

Before I hit the send button, I deleted the few short lines I’d compiled and started from scratch.

When I finished, I hit the send button and didn’t think much more about it.

The next day, I got a reply.

To be honest with you, I was shocked by his response.

Not because it was offensive – it was the opposite, actually.  I guess I just didn’t expect my thoughts to be received this way…

With his permission, I’m sharing with you a portion of his response:

“you should use ALL OF THAT in your next blog post. That's a perfect response. I have not seen anyone spell this out so well…”

Because of his urging, and because I believe sharing my 'why' with you is important, I decided to share the email I sent him with all of you today.

*note: this is basically the same email, although I did elaborate a little bit more on some topics to give additional clarification to those who are new to me, this blog and my writing.

My “Why”

I started this blog a little over a year ago.

In that time, I’ve written over 100 essays, published 15+ podcasts, written several guides, and published 2 books – everything is free + Pay What You Want to support my creative work.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I write about the war of art, the conflict of creation, and why it’s important we fight the inner creative enemy every day to create our life’s work.

Life’s work…

Your life’s work is the cumulative results of all the things you’ve done in this life (creative or otherwise).  It’s the compilation of all the projects you’ve ever started, finished and shipped.  It’s your impact, your legacy, your story…

Life’s work...

That’s what it’s all about for me.

And I believe, deep down in my heart, that on the last day of our existence here on Earth, when we breathe our last breath, that’s what it’s all about for ALL of us.  We’ll be judged accordingly.

I hope this doesn’t come off melodramatic – it’s not supposed to.  If it sounds a bit intense, it’s because it is.

I believe everyone has creative work they'd love to do, that they OUGHT to do (because they want to), but life gets in the way.  Can’t start today, today’s the football game, or I need to pick up dinner, or I’m so tired – I’ll start tomorrow.

Years pass and the ideas that were so inspiring once upon a time are now regret inducing memories.

What a shame.

What a waste…

But if I can help more people take action today to start building / creating / designing whatever it is they care about, and I can walk with them over the finish line to actually ship it to market...

Well I feel like that's MY life's work. I get honest joy out of it.  In a way, it validates my existence.

And I think the best way to help people is by being on the ground with them, slugging it out in the trenches right beside them.

As a platoon leader in Iraq, I did that on a daily basis, training my platoon and taking them on mission every day. I was a convoy security platoon leader.  My job was to take a group of non-infantry cooks, warehouse clerks, and mechanics, and train and lead them in security operations for our daily logistical resupplies to neighboring bases.

I was responsible not only for them (a task in and of itself), but as the convoy commander, I was responsible for everyone and everything moving from point A to point B.

What’s important to realize is that I was always there with them, for the training and for the missions themselves. And since I was one of them, the more 'secrets' I shared (tactics, techniques and procedures) the better off I was and the better off we all were.

I treat entrepreneurship and art the same way.

We ought to help one another out. Share our work. And share our secrets...

At least if we care about great work.

And not just creating the great work ourselves so we get credit, but so there’s more great work in the world, period.


So yeah, that’s why I’m sharing this info.

That’s why I’m writing this book.

And that’s why I give it all away.

I hope that answers the question.  And I hope my work helps you start, finish and ship your great work.

If it does, let me know: your success is my success.

Take care.

- Tom


Started, finished and shipped in Dunedin, New Zealand.  Fuel: 2 double espresso's.  Soundtrack: Yeasayer.

Writing Time: 3 hours